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Comment Re:Sinkholing, WTF? (Score 1) 49

Not anymore, I believe that's part of the rule41 changes

Hmm, it seems I was wrong, but not for that reason. In recent years (like, within the last five years or so) they've actually used botnet command and control systems to try to fix or patch up user systems. I've linked a legal paper in a different post that described some of these events.

I'm wondering if part of the intention of Rule 41 was to clarify the legal standing of the botnet issue. Will have to do a bit more reading on that, as it somehow slipped by my radar.

Comment Re:Sinkholing, WTF? (Score 5, Informative) 49

Unfortunately, there's no convenient global IP-to-email or IP-to-person database, so it's not as easy as you may think to contact those affected. IPs are usually dynamically assigned to consumer users, meaning there's no simple one-to-one mapping. While it's certainly *possible* to track down a user by IP, it's by no means trivial to do so, or even possible in all cases. ISPs may be reluctant to hand out that information to law enforcement without a subpoena, and that's generally a good thing for our privacy.

Probably the most effective response to help individuals, now that the authorities have the command and control systems, is to instruct the malware to remotely disable itself and patch any known infection vector / vulnerability. This has been done on several occasions by the FBI and Microsoft in recent years, which has a dedicated anti cyber-crime lab that works with them on these sorts of cases. Of course, this is fraught with both technical and legal concerns, due to potential abuse or a slippery slope encroachment of privacy rights. And things are made more complicated because of the various international laws that may impact the ability of law enforcement to do this.

I certainly understand your skepticism regarding governments, law enforcement, and potential for abuse by overreach, but I really do think they're doing the right thing here. It's unfortunate that governments and law enforcement has undermined the public trust with their actions, such that we can't help but question their motivations, even when they're (I believe) legitimately stopping criminals like this.

Comment Re:Sinkholing, WTF? (Score 3, Informative) 49

There's little choice but to seize command-and-control domains in order to stop these widely distributed botnets. My guess is that this is simply done at the DNS level, which would be pretty simple since they're apparently cooperating with ICANN authorities, according to the press release. Also, it's ridiculous to expect authorities to track down half a million victims and help them clean up their computers. Besides, in the US at least, I believe it would actually be illegal to do anything to a user's system without their express consent.

So, sorry, I don't see this as some nefarious plot by world governments to take over the internet... that's probably a different department. This is exactly what law enforcement needs to be doing to combat these fucking botnets operators and ransomware distributors who are ruining things for the rest of us.

Comment Robot? (Score 1) 122

Bulk digital storage requires a robot? Is she perhaps talking about a device that can access stored digital tape media with a mechanical arm or something? Or is any high tech hardware these days just called a "robot" if people don't know what else to call it?

The article didn't provide any more details, which is a shame, since that sounds sort of interesting to see.

Comment Re:Steam Page (Score 5, Interesting) 75

Someone please mod this +1 Informative, because this a key point. When people talk about "misleading advertisement", I also believe they are generally talking about expectations set by Sean Murray, who seems unable to constrain himself to describing features he knows will ship, and instead seems to describe the game as he'd imagine he would like it to become.

I'm a professional game developer, so naturally I've seen the "behind the scenes" view for a number of AAA title releases, especially the discrepancy between the released information and the true state of the game at the time. Most people would be shocked at how fluid the design of a game can be, how many iterations it takes to get things right, how many crazy ideas get tried and thrown away, and sometimes, how late in development things can really come together, especially if you're developing a lot of new technology. You have to be *extremely* disciplined when talking about your game, especially if you've got a hard deadline, because it's almost inevitable that many cool ideas and features are going to get cut simply because there's no time to polish them properly.

Unfortunately, some people like Peter Molyneux have demonstrated that they don't have the proper temperament for talking to the press or the public, because they can't stay on script, or can't simply tell the honest truth about a feature that's still very much up in the air. I suspect Murray is like this as well, and unfortunately, he damaged the reputation of the company because of his lack of media discipline.

Comment Re:Slightly misleading headline (Score 1) 57

Yeah, my thoughts exactly when I read the headline. It sounds like "high-bandwidth, reliable" instead of "superfast" would have been more appropriate.

But still, it's not like this is a tech site for nerds or anything. Gotta make it a bit more approachable for the less tech-savvy masses, so I guess we can give them a pass on the silly description, right?

Comment Re:iPhone (Score 1) 66

Plus, even if I were to buy the most expensive Pixel, I tend to keep my phones for quite a while (over three years for my current model and going strong). So, I'm probably paying under a buck a day for the phone, and another two for my data plan. For that, I get a:

* phone
* texting / messenger client
* e-mail client
* mobile web browser
* GPS navigation device
* Kindle reader
* camera / video recorder
* video player
* music player
* calendar
* videogame player
* alarm clock
* flashlight
* compass
* and much more

... all in one convenient, portable device more powerful than supercomputers of a few decades ago. It's not a bad deal, if you ask me.

Comment Re:Ah, those were the days... (Score 1) 19

Remember when Google and Facebook and Microsoft and other huge tech corporations used to insist that engaging with Communist China and other totalitarian regimes was the best way to make them more free?

Did anyone ever buy that? You could almost hear the true motives ("over a BILLION customers... over a BILLION customers...") percolate as they regurgitated some carefully lawyered corporate claptrap. They don't even pretend to care anymore, of course.

Comment Re:Trademarks protect purchasers, not sellers (Score 1) 72

I wonder if there's any chance of them actually going after the source of these products as well? Because, you know... heaven forbid we offend our Valuable Trading Partner(tm) where all these fakes are coming from, right? After all, we want to sell our cheap Chinese widget with our logo on it that costs 10x as much, not the fake brand Chinese widget that probably comes from the same factory after hours.

If you outsource manufacturing to a country that doesn't give a crap about international IP laws, this is the inevitable and rather obvious results. Online storefronts are easy to shut down, move, and re-open, unlike factories. Fine, they got a few middlemen, but the problem will remain. Unfortunately, even if we move manufacturing elsewhere, the Chinese knockoffs will continue, because they're *extremely* good at doing that now, and we financed their infrastructure and education. At the very least though, we could *stop* financing them. But then where would we get low-cost manufactured goods, which require hundreds of thousands of low-paid workers to keep costs down? Problems, problems...

Yes, I'm a bit jaded.

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